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Fire Meet Gasoline

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It had been a week since Oliver and Regan had visited.  The four of them had gone out to dinner together on their last night, ending up in some bar downtown, dancing until the early hours.  Regan had called Allie early the following morning, deciding that it was only fair to wake them up, given she had to drag Oli’s hungover arse to the airport.  They had spoken again later that evening, when they were back in Sydney, and her brother was feeling a little more human, and a little embarrassed about being out drunk by three women.

The week that followed their visit had been hectic, with Allie picking up extra shifts at the bar to help cover while Liz took a holiday.  On top of that, Will had asked Bea to shadow him, sensing that his promotion would be coming up sooner rather than later, and wanted her to be as prepared as possible.  They had also had a change in their shift pattern, and would be working 24 hours on, and 48 hours off, as part of a new trial.

With everything going on, Allie and Bea hadn’t had a chance to spend much time together, the blonde crashing at the flat a few nights after working both the day, and evening shift, and being too exhausted to make it any further than up the stairs.  To make matters worse, 11:11 had a gig the following week at the local university union and wanted Allie to play with them. She had been trying to get as much rehearsal time in with them as possible, but with her additional workload, it cut into the already sparse time with her girlfriend.

Allie was exhausted, and was extremely thankful that Liz would be back the following day.  Both Shayne and Boomer had also taken on additional shifts, but he had come down with the flu a couple of days ago, leaving just the two of them to keep things running.  Boomer was trying to keep up to date on the paperwork as well, and with it not being her strong point, was taking twice as long as it should.  Boomer had told her to take the following day off, but Bea was on shift so she would rather be at work.  That way, when she did get some time off, she could spend it with her girlfriend.

Bea was frustrated, she hadn’t seen Allie in three days.  They had spoken on the phone whenever they had a spare minute, but it wasn’t the same, and she missed her terribly.  Franky had been at her all shift about her short fuse, and it was really starting to piss her off.  It was six thirty in the morning and they had half an hour left on their shift.  Bea was sitting in the mess room trying to relax when Maxine walked over, sitting beside her on the sofa.

“Everything ok hun?  You’ve been a little off recently”

“Yeah I’m fine”

“Sure love.  Come on, you can talk to me”

“I’m ok, I just miss Allie.  Her schedule’s been crazy this past week, and with the change in shift patterns we’ve hardly seen each other.  Liz and Boomer are trying to find someone but they’re really struggling.  She’s off today though so at least we’ll get a bit of time together” Bea replied, smiling at her friend.

 

 

Kaz had arrived early for her shift, and was wandering down the corridor towards the locker room when she overheard a conversation between Smith and Conway.  She knew Smith had gotten her girlfriend a job with Liz at the bar they all hung out in, but hadn’t realised they were so short staffed.  Seeing this as an opportunity to get close to Allie, she smiled to herself, continuing on her journey to the locker room.  She would make the phone call once teal watch had left the station.  Her last visit with Harry hadn’t got particularly well, which in all honesty, was an understatement.  He had accused her of dragging her feet, and not wanting to help him with the Bea situation, and if she were to be completely honest, he was probably right. 

While she wasn’t Smith’s biggest fan, the redhead was out of his life for good, and had clearly moved on.  She no longer saw Bea as a threat to her relationship with Harry, and would rather be concentrating on getting his sentence reduced than getting revenge.  Unfortunately he didn’t see it that way, and had been particularly hard on her a couple of days ago.  Kaz had left the prison wondering what the hell she was doing.   She had spent years pining after him, and when she unexpectedly ran into him again, thought things were looking up.  That was until he went and got himself arrested and locked up.  Ten years, and she was willing to wait for him, yet he was treating her like shit.  She hoped he’d just had a bad day, and that things would be better when she saw him next.

 

 

Bea had already taken a shower, so when their shift was over she jumped on her bike, and rode straight home.  Parking up, she headed into the house and up the stairs.  Removing her clothes, she threw on an old t shirt, pulled back the covers and slipped into bed beside Allie, the blonde turning in her sleep and wrapping her arms around her.  Bea loved that even when sleeping, Allie naturally gravitated towards her, and the only time she had truly felt safe was when she was in the blonde’s arms.

Allie stirred a couple of hours later, finding herself wrapped around Bea.  The redhead was still sleeping and despite not wanting to disturb her, Allie couldn’t resist the urge to reach out and touch her.  She’d had another late night at the bar, and had considered staying at the flat last night, but waking up to find Bea beside her had made the extra journey worth it.  Reaching out, she ran her fingers lightly over Bea’s exposed stomach, feeling the muscles twitch slightly beneath her touch.  The redhead’s shirt had risen up as she slept, granting Allie unrestricted access to her perfect body.  Shuffling slightly, Allie replaced her fingers with her lips, kissing her way across her girlfriend’s stomach, and up towards her breasts.

Bea woke up to fingers gently caressing her stomach.  Loving the feeling Allie’s touch was igniting in her, she kept her eyes closed, wanting to savour the moment.  When she felt her girlfriend’s lips on her, she couldn’t control it any longer, letting out a deep sigh.  Opening her eyes, her hands found their way into Allie’s blonde locks, brushing the hair away from her face. “Hi” she said, smiling down at her girlfriend.  She had missed waking up with her, and she didn’t care if that made her needy.  Allie was her everything, and she needed her like she needed air.

“Hey, good morning beautiful.  I didn’t hear you come in, you should have woken me up” Allie mumbled, still half asleep

“I wanted you to get some sleep, I know how tired you’ve been”

“I want you, not sleep. Don’t go anywhere, I won’t be long” Allie replied, climbing out of bed and stumbling to the bathroom.

After Allie had freshened up, they spent a couple of hours getting reacquainted.  She had missed Bea so much, and knew it was crazy.  She had managed for twenty seven years without her, but the past three days had felt like a lifetime.  After taking a shower together they decided to go out for lunch, knowing it would be the only way they would actually eat something.  If they stayed in the house she was pretty sure they would end up back in bed within a few minutes, not that she would ever complain, the noise coming from her stomach telling her otherwise.

 

 

After lunch they walked along the promenade hand in hand, both of them happy just to be together again.  Bea knew they would always have weeks like the last one, where they would be apart more than they’d be together, and she knew it would make them stronger, but she had missed Allie so much.  She couldn’t help but think how crazy it was.  If someone had asked her twelve months ago where she saw herself, she would have never have said here.  She was so determined not to let anyone get close to her again, that if anyone had so much as suggested that she would be walking through the city, hand in hand with the love of her life, who happened to be a woman, she would have thought they were insane.  But here she was, and she wouldn’t change a thing.  Allie had turned her world on its axis and sent her headfirst into a tailspin, and she couldn’t be happier.

Later that evening they were sitting on the sofa, Allie cuddled up against Bea, music playing softly in the background.  They were chatting about the previous week, catching up on what had been going on in each other’s lives.

“I saw Lexi yesterday, she came into the bar.  Boomer said that she’d been in the other day looking for me but I wasn’t working” Allie said, smiling as she thought about seeing her friend walk through the door

“How is she?”

“She’s doing really well.  She’s off the gear and starts a job next week.  It’s only a few hours in the kitchen at a diner, but it’s a start, and hopefully she’ll be able to get a place of her own if it works out.  She said the shelter got taken over and they’re working with a local charity to get the girls into rehab.  She looked good, I almost didn’t recognise her.  I said we’d get together in a couple of weeks, once she’s settled into the job, see how she’s getting on”

“That’s great, I’m really happy for her.  And it’s about time the shelter started trying to help the women more.  That night I took you back there, I couldn’t believe that they would turn you away for being a few minutes late, although I’m glad they did.  I hated the thought of leaving you there” Bea replied, thinking back to that night.  She had felt a connection with Allie, even back then, she just didn’t realise what it all meant.

“Me too.  That night you brought me here, it was the first time I’d ever really felt comfortable anywhere.  It’s weird, and we were practically strangers, but I felt so at ease here”

“Comfortable enough to live here permanently?” the redhead asked, locking eyes with Allie

“Are you asking me to move in with you?”

“Yeah I am.  I hate being apart from you, and I don’t want to push you into anything you’re not ready for, but I’d love it if you were here with me”

“Yes” Allie replied, unable to stop the wide grin spreading across her face

“Yes I’m pushing you, or yes, you’ll move in with me?”

“I’d love to live with you.  I hate every minute we’re apart, and I know we can’t be together all the time, but knowing I’ll be coming home to you will make it so much better” Allie replied, turning slightly so she could capture Bea’s lips in a kiss so full of promise that it left them both weak at the knees.

 

 

The following week was almost as crazy for Allie.  Even with Liz back, she is still taking on more shifts to help out.  Liz and Boomer have interview eleven people in two days, and still haven’t found anyone remotely suitable to take over Doreen’s job.  They had two more to see that afternoon, but Allie could tell they were getting frustrated.  She was behind the bar with Shayne when the next applicant walked in.  She was a little older than the others, maybe three or four years younger than herself, Allie thought.  She just hoped one of them would be at least half decent, and worthy of a shot.

It had been a relatively quiet day, as Tuesdays often were, and Liz had gathered them all together after closing.  They had hired the woman from the day before, Kim Chang, and she would be starting the following day.  Allie was playing in the evening, but Liz asked if she would mind working a few hours in the afternoon to help show her the ropes.  She had been hoping to get a few hours off that afternoon, but the bonus was that Liz had given her the two days off afterwards, knowing Bea was off too.   

The following day Allie arrived at the bar an hour before her shift.  She had moved most of her things into Bea’s house, their house, a couple of days ago but there were still a few things she needed to sort out.  She had felt bad about leaving the flat.  Liz had been so good to her, and had taken a huge risk letting her stay there, not that she would ever bite the hand that feeds.  She had been adamant that she was paying the next two months’ rent as her moving out had come at short notice.  Liz had insisted that it wasn’t necessary, and that she was happy they would be living together, but Allie was having none of it, and had already transferred the money over to her.

After setting up the bar, she waited for the new starter to arrive.  Shayne was coming in at three, so she would hopefully be able to head upstairs for an hour and collect the rest of her things.  Kim arrived at quarter to twelve, and was keen to get started.  She was friendly enough, and despite a few mistakes early on, seemed to be picking things up quite quickly.  Liz had called to make sure everything was going ok, and by the time Shayne arrived, Kim was handling things really well.

It was just gone five when Allie took a break.  Boomer and Liz would be there in an hour, and Shayne had things under control so she headed upstairs to pack the last few things.  She had left her guitar up there, wanting to run through one of the songs a couple of times before the set later.  It was one that she had written with Ash, and was slightly different to their usual sound, but both of them really liked it so wanted to include it in the set.  Their gig at the university was in two days, and they figured it would be good to test the reaction to it.  She had also brought a change of clothes so she could take a shower and get ready without having to go back home.  That would be the only downside of not living here anymore, but it was more than worth it to get to wake up beside Bea every day.

The first few days of living together had gone really well.  They had gotten into an argument the day before over money, but Allie put it down to both of them being tired, as well as stubborn.  She wanted to pay half towards everything, but Bea was adamant that she had paid the mortgage and bills fine on her own, so didn’t see any reason to change things.  Allie knew she didn’t earn anywhere near as much as her girlfriend, but since leaving home, she had always paid her own way.  She had paid Bea back for the flat within the first three months of starting work at the bar, and she hated being in debt to anyone.  They had bickered for a couple of hours, and Bea had refused to budge.  They came to a compromise after Allie threatened to move back out again.  She didn’t want to, and she loved living there, but she had to pay her way, there was no other option.  The make-up sex had been fantastic though, and as much as she hated fighting with Bea, she had thoroughly enjoyed the outcome.

 

 

It was just gone seven when Allie went back down.  Dropping her guitar off in the office, she headed back through into the bar.  This would be the first set she would be playing without Bea there, and she wasn’t sure how her nerves would hold up.  The redhead had offered to rearrange her shift, but that would mean her missing the university gig, and out of the two, she was more nervous about that one.  She knew the crowd at the bar, and although there were always new faces, the majority of the customers were regulars, or followers of the artists.

After chatting with Liz and Boomer, and filling them in on how Kim had got on, she headed over to the stage and started setting up.  Shayne had been helping her whenever he had the time, and was keen to learn the ropes.  If she could get him trained on the set-up, then on the Wednesdays she wasn’t playing, she could take some time off.  Plus, it was good to have someone to banter with while she worked.

Kim’s first shift had gone well, and although she had finished for the day, decided to stick around to watch the bands play.  Once they had set most of the stage up, Shayne went for his break, leaving Allie to finish off.  She could feel someone watching her as she was doing her final checks.  Looking up, she spotted Kim sitting at the bar, her eyes fixed on her.  Noticing Allie had spotted her, she wandered over, stopping just in front of the blonde.  “I’ve always been fascinated by the behind the scenes stuff.  When you go to a gig all you see is the final display, not the mass of wires, lights and everything else tucked away behind the curtain” she said

“Yeah well, we’re not that lucky here, nowhere to hide the wires.  My biggest concern is some drunk tripping over them and suing our arses” Allie joked

“Shayne said you were playing later, I’m looking forward to hearing you.  Have you been playing long?”

“Guitar, since I was about five.  I haven’t been playing here long though.  I just help the guys out now and then, nothing special” Allie replied.  The first band arriving putting an end to their conversation.  As Kim headed back to the bar, Allie helped the band set up before heading through into the back to check the schedule for the evening.

Everything was running smoothly, and she had just finished speaking to Bea on the phone.  The redhead had called her to wish her luck with the set, and had apologised at least ten times for not being there.  Allie would be lying if she said she didn’t miss her, but Bea had a job to do, and she knew that as much as she loved having her stage side, it just wasn’t practical all the time.  It didn’t make her miss the older woman any less though.  Dylan’s new girlfriend had promised to record their set, so at least Bea could watch it later.

They were half way through their set when they got to the new track.  Both Allie and Ash were nervous about this one.  Dylan and Ethan had loved it instantly, but they were still apprehensive.  Allie took a deep breath as the guys began to play her in, they had tried the song with her and Ash sharing the vocals, and again with just Ash singing, but he couldn’t reach the notes that she could.  In the end they decided it sounded better with just Allie singing, and Ash on backing vocal.  Stepping forward, she momentarily forgot as her eyes scanned the room, looking for Bea.  Remembering she wasn’t there, she glanced back at Ash.  Receiving the nod, she turned to face the room, grabbed the mic stand and started to sing.

 

I'm a headless horseman on quilted sand dunes

With my neck wide open, I pray for refuge

 

Cause since I've been found I've been living a life in cages

Withering down to the champagne quicksand

Wrestling doubt I've been dragging around for ages

I tried to let it drain but my veins are hopeless

 

Cause I loved in cold blood and got used to it

Angels say trust the detox

But I'm shaking I need it like bourbon in my coffee cup

 

I'm a tritone bible with misprint logic;

I count lunar cycles with faithless prophets

 

Cause since I've been found I've been living a life in cages

Withering down to the champagne quicksand

Wrestling doubt I've been dragging around for ages

I tried to let it drain but my veins are hopeless

 

Cause I loved in cold blood and got used to it

Angels say trust the detox

But I'm shaking I need it like bourbon in my coffee cup

 

I'm a mountainless valley

Never comforted crashing

I'm just another stone on broken walls

Racing the winds in a hurricane

I'm not as brave as I once was

I've been kicking these rocks in a river

And they've been sinking low, low, low, low, low

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

Oh they've been going low, low, low, low, low

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

I mean, I lied, how long?

Cause they've been sinking low, low, low, low, low

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

Won't keep a promise I can't make

Cause I've been going low, low, low, low, low

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

 

Cause I loved in cold blood and got used to it

Angels say trust the detox

But I'm shaking I need it like bourbon in my coffee cup

 

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

We've been going low, low, low, low, low

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

Going low, low, low, low, low

Low, low, low, low, low [Ash]

 

The song went down really well, as did the rest of the gig, and before long, they were thanking the audience and packing up.  Shayne was helping them so they got finished earlier than usual.  Bea wouldn’t be home until the following morning, so Allie decided to hang around for a while and grab a drink with the guys.  Kim had left after the gig, along with Liz, but Boomer and Shayne had decided to stay back for a drink.  They were discussing their upcoming gig when Shayne disappeared into the back to take a call from Debbie.  By the time he had come back through they had already started on the shots, Boomer being the one to instigate it as usual.

It was Bea’s birthday in six days, and Debbie’s four days after that.  She would be home from university by then, but had an exam on Bea’s birthday so wouldn’t be back until the day after.  Allie and Shayne had arranged a party for them once the younger Smith was back, leaving both their birthday’s free.  She had already planned a surprise for Bea, and was just waiting on a call from the jewellers, letting her know that the gift was ready to collect.

“Do you know if Bea’s got anything planned for Debbie’s birthday?” Shayne asked as he sat down beside her

“I’m not sure, I’ll speak to her about it tomorrow.  I’m guessing you’d like to do something together”

“Yeah, but if Bea’s already got something arranged I don’t mind.  I’m just happy she’s coming home”

“We’ll work something out.  So, things are going well with Debbie then?”

“Yeah, really good.  We’ve been skyping a lot, and I was going to go and see her but I didn’t want to get in the way”

“I’m sure you wouldn’t be, and Deb would love to see you” Allie replied.

They chatted for a while longer before heading home.  It was just after three am by the time Allie made it into bed.  She was exhausted again, but was looking forward to spending two full days with Bea, and now Kim had started she hoped things would calm down a bit.  She seemed nice enough, and was quick to learn, Allie just hoped she would stick around as they could all use a break from the hectic schedule.  Collapsing on the bed, she fell asleep straight away, her dreams filled with red hair and chestnut brown eyes.